Kevin Phillips claimed it would be a “huge boost” for Liverpool if Joel Matip returned from injury in time to face Manchester United.
The 2000 European Golden Shoe winner, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, said Jurgen Klopp needs his best centre-halves available to face an in-form United side next weekend.
Matip has been sidelined since 27 December with an adductor injury, while Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez remain sidelined with long-term knee and ankle problems respectively.
Speaking earlier this week, Klopp revealed that Matip was recovering well and could be fit to face the Red Devils at Anfield next Sunday.
The Reds opted to play with no recognised centre-back in their last Premier League outing – Jordan Henderson and Fabinho selected in the heart of a defence which lost 1-0 to Southampton.
When asked by Football Insider for his latest thoughts on Liverpool’s centre-back problems, Phillips said:
“Jordan Henderson can do a job in there but he is not as comfortable in there as he is in the midfield.
“Jurgen Klopp needs his best centre-halves back against Manchester United. They are in great form so having Matip back alongside Fabinho will be a huge boost for Liverpool.”
Speaking on Thursday, Klopp told club media: “Yes, we will try working on that obviously. Until the United game we still have nine days around about, so we try.
“He is in a good way but if it will be United or a few days later, I don’t know.”